In this show, I interviewed Emma Killilea, founder of Delicious Alchemy. After being diagnosed as a coeliac and realising the limitation of gluten-free products in the market, Emma decided to dedicate her life to making gluten-free options commonplace, so that more and more people can live a happy and healthy life.
1:00 | Emma describes the purpose of her company, Delicious Alchemy. She details the location and age of the company.
1:52 | Emma explains the different lines of production, distribution and co-packing that the company carries out.
2:35 | Emma specifies how the COVID-19 lockdown affected the company, including the positive effects it had on the business and on staff management. She then talks about the negative effects of the pandemic on the food production industry as a whole, and discusses how it has delayed product launches for the company.
6:25 | Emma describes customer behaviours from both the allergen and lifestyle sides of the gluten and dairy free market.
9:57 | Emma outlines the structure of the company, and how it has changed in order to become more efficient.
11:05 | Emma summarises her present role in the company.
11:36 | Emma recalls how her own health problems caused her to assume a gluten free diet, and how this led her to go back to university to study food. She recounts the opportunities that the university offered her in eventually setting up Delicious Alchemy.
14:37 | Emma goes on to detail the initial years of the business, and the difference she found between supplying the retail and food service supply chains. She explains how the WHO’s approval of gluten-free oats offered an opportunity for growth.
17:00 | Emma recounts the growth of the business in the following years, including the challenges that came with the setting up of the company’s own factory in 2015, and the positives that this offered.
18:10 | Emma details the expansion of the company’s products.
18:56 | Alan asks about other sources of funding that Emma received when starting up the business. Emma gives insight into the financial side of the company in the initial years, including the impact that the 2008/9 financial crash had.
22:45 | Emma describes how Sahar Hashemi inspired her when she was starting up Delicious Alchemy.
23:30 | Emma explains how her background in video games acted as a precursor to running her own company, and offered her experience in business.
25:26 | Emma recalls the goals she had when she started up the business, and the value of having a mentor.
27:38 | Emma describes the series of events and factors that led to Delicious Alchemy products being stocked in Sainsbury's.
31:37 | Emma gives insight into the company’s process of innovation, and the factors that can cause a product to succeed or fail in the market.
36:10 | Alan and Emma further discuss innovation in food and how purchasing habits have changed. They move onto the subject of "dark kitchens" in relation to innovation.
39:44 | Emma outlines the values that the company upholds, and explains how prioritising safety helps to create a culture of innovation.
44:10 | Emma reveals plans for both meat free products and developments in the food service industry, and discusses how COVID-19 has influenced the company’s plans for the future.
48:10 | Emma shares some of the things she learned when starting up the business, expanding on the importance of a good understanding of the financial aspects of a company, and the significance of being focussed.
52:47 | Alan wraps up the interview, thanking Emma, and inviting her to tell listeners how to find out more about Delicious Alchemy.